As many countries enter an aging society, the phenomenon of the elderly living alone and empty nesters are becoming more and more common. The problems encountered by the elderly in their daily life have increasingly attracted social attention.
With the help of scientific and technological power, many countries continue to promote the senior-friendly transformation of residences, nursing homes, and communities with refined standards, providing a safer and more convenient environment for the elderly and making the elderly's life more comfortable.
South Korea: Developing Age-Friendly Cities
In recent years, Seoul has continued to promote the construction of elderly-friendly cities. In order to improve the life satisfaction of the elderly, Seoul formulated the "Comprehensive Welfare Plan for the Elderly" last year and will invest 1.4 trillion won (1 US dollar is about 1,361 won) by 2025.
In terms of health care, Seoul will further increase the number of daycare centers to provide targeted nutrition management services for elderly patients with chronic diseases. Seoul also plans to improve the management standards of video surveillance in elderly care facilities to prevent abuse of the elderly in nursing facilities.
In terms of leisure life, in order to help the elderly cross the digital divide and make the elderly more convenient to use of digital devices, Seoul will install free wireless networks in more nursing homes, strengthen digital education for the elderly, offer free courses, and provide door-to-door teaching.
Seoul will also continue to increase the number of public convalescent facilities, build "the elderly park", and set up "the elderly priority parking spaces" in public facilities. In traditional markets, intersections, and other places where the elderly are more frequent or have complicated road conditions, "the elderly reserve" and so on will be set up to limit the speed of vehicles.
Germany: Focus on upgrading ordinary houses
Germany is one of the countries with the highest aging degree in the European Union, and most of the elderly live in ordinary houses. Therefore, the senior-friendly transformation of ordinary houses and the creation of necessary conditions for the elderly to live at home have become the focus of the German government's work on aging.
The German government provides special residential renovation subsidies. The German statutory long-term care insurance can reimburse up to 4,000 euros of renovation funds per person, and KfW provides financial subsidies and low-interest loans for renovation. From 2014 to 2018, KfW supported the senior-friendly renovation of about 190,000 homes.
According to the bank's calculations, living in a senior-friendly renovation house can reduce pension expenses by 9,600 euros per year compared with staying in a nursing home.
Germany attaches great importance to the standards of residential senior-friendly renovation-related projects, puts forward very detailed requirements for renovation, and stipulates the specific size, quality, color, and quantity of doors and windows, ramps, stairs, emergency equipment, etc., to fully take care of The living needs of the elderly.
There is such a typical renovated building near the reporter's residence in Berlin. The appearance shows the historical style of a hundred years ago, but the interior of the building shows humanistic care everywhere: the entrance steps have been transformed into gentle slopes, and some have also been installed with electric lifts.
The table is convenient for the elderly with inconvenient legs and feet. The stairs are equipped with handrails and anti-slip strips to prevent the elderly from falling and being injured. The originally narrow and dim corridor has been widened to more than 1.2 meters, and sound-controlled lights and floor lights have been installed to provide lighting for the elderly at any time.
Inside the house, relevant German institutions have designed self-lifting toilets and washbasins to facilitate wheelchair users. The kitchen has also undergone a similar transformation. Whether the cabinet countertops or trash cans are adjusted to a height suitable for wheelchair users, a stove monitoring device with an automatic fire-off function and a one-button alarm device is installed.